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Deputies arrest three in raid

ALBANY, Ga. -- Gambling, racketeering and money laundering put three people in jail Friday, law enforcement officials here said.

"The money is going out of Dougherty County to another location in the country; from there we don't know where it goes," Dougherty Judicial Circuit District Attorney Greg Edwards said.

"We don't know if it funds terrorism, but we know it leaves the county. We know that from April 2009 (the suspects) received over $100,000 illegally."

George Fonadanilla Bagain and his wife, Melanie Alejo Bagain, were arrested at about 8 a.m. at their home at 196 Wood Street in Lee County, said Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Capt. Craig Dodd.

Ayaz Ahmed was arrested at the Stop and Shop at 2201 Liberty Expressway, where the three accused did business. The three did not resist arrest and were being booked into the Dougherty County Jail, said Dodd, who noted that deputies also seized financial records and other documents when they arrested the accused.

According to grand jury documents, the three will be charged with 260 counts, including many on commercial gambling, possession of gambling devices, money laundering and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The charges on the anti-racketeering law state that the accused operated an enterprise with a pattern of racketeering activity and acquired property with money from that enterprise.

Plans call for a lawsuit to pave the way for confiscation of property such as the convenience store, various vehicles and other real estate as fruit of a racketeering enterprise, Edwards said.

The months-long investigation stemmed from the arrest of the same people for having gambling machines at the convenience store about a year ago. That case has not yet been tried.

"The investigation is ongoing," Edwards said. "At this point, no one (from federal agencies) has contacted us and we have not contacted them."

Lee County Sheriff's Office deputies assisted in the arrests in their county.

"I'm always happy to help Dougherty County deputies," Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said. "We'd be happy to do it again."